How to share a country

Not every group on earth is entitled to its own homeland. If that were, the world would splinter into thousands of tiny states. More borders mean more conflicts; more states mean more politicians and more administrative costs; smaller economies mean smaller enterprises. And since people never stop defining themselves in terms of smaller and smaller subgroups, the splintering would never end. So some groups MUST learn to SHARE a single country.

Sharing does not mean the smaller group living as a minority in a country that the majority is trying to define in terms of their own ethnicity or religion. You cannot define Sri Lanka as a Sinhalese/Buddhist country and simultaneously ask Tamil/Hindus to “share” the country. That is not a proper form of sharing; we are asking them to be second class citizens. No human being will accept that for long. There are only three options, out of which only two are civilized: 

a) Define Sri Lanka as a secular, non-ethnic state, or

b) Divide Sri Lanka into one predominantly Sinhalese/Buddhist state and one predominantly Tamil/Hindu state.

c) Suppress or expel the Tamils

One can already see that (b) is a recursive solution: Sri Lanka’s substantial Muslim population will be second class citizens in both these states and will therefore demand a third Muslim state. Achieving (a) requires the implementation of an ethnicity-blind, creed-blind and caste-blind system and a gradual amalgamation of the main ethnicities into one: a topic for another day.

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One Response to How to share a country

  1. Castedeus says:

    I too have felt for a while that embracing secularism is an inevitability for the achievement of any progress on the ethnic issue and I share your sentiments on the problems posed by a two-state solution. A common identity and a common nationalism to replace the ethno-nationalism of the present is a must. The economic prosperity of India is being forged on this common nationalism. Perhaps a Buddhist renaissance, more in line with the modern day needs of the polity is overdue. A philosophical understanding of Buddhism through intellectual discrimination must replace conservative social mindsets of the southern polity, in order for any realistic social gains to be made.

    I love your selection of topics and feel that the arguments you present are very necessary for popular discourse within SL’s civil and political society. I know I will stop by for a read more regularly. Keep on blogging!

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